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'I couldn't be prouder of this team': Rillie

14 Mar
2 mins read

Written By

Jordan McArdle

Perth Wildcats head coach John Rillie couldn't be prouder of his team's NBL24 season.

Rillie expects his team to grow from their play-offs experience after going down to Tasmania 2-1 in a see-sawing semi-final series.

Only four players on the Wildcats' roster have tasted the ultimate success in the NBL, captain and six-time champion Jesse Wagstaff, four-time League MVP Bryce Cotton (three championships), veteran Corey Webster (three) and his younger brother Tai Webster (one).

Starting-five members Hyrum Harris and Keanu Pinder were among mutiple NBL finals debutants this season, with both impressing.

Pinder scored a game-high 26 points in the series-opening win over the JackJumpers on Friday night, including a career-best five three-pointers, while Harris' physicality and desperation at the defensive end were important across the three games.

Rillie said while he was disappointed for the Wildcats' season to end earlier than he had hoped, he felt there was plenty of progress made on and off the floor.

"This franchise has gone through a lot of changes over the last three or four years," Rillie explained after Wednesday's 100-84 loss at RAC Arena.

"We have players that have experienced this for the first time, so as the franchise evolves, as I evolve as a coach and as our players get these opportunties, we're only going to grow from this.

"We're all disappointed, absolutely, because we had a great opportunity to get to a Championship series, but all said and done, we can't lose the progress that's been made through everything and then the growth of our guys off the floor.

"I couldn't be prouder of this team, it was a fun group to coach. I understand fun didn't help us tonight but when you can walk into work every day and enjoy the guys that you are around, that's special." 

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